PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo on Thursday said it has committed $8 million grant to Water.org to help provide clean drinking water and sanitation programmes in India.
The foundation and Water.org have expanded their partnership to scale WaterCredit, a market-driven model that will provide micro loans to families throughout the country, the company said in a statement.
This expansion will help enable approximately 8,00,000 people to access safe water by March 2016, it said, adding the commitment "is made possible by an $8 million grant – the largest contribution by the Foundation in its 50-year history".
"Water is an integral part of PepsiCo's business ecosystem, and ensuring access to clean, reliable sources of water is vital to the health and livelihood of communities around the world," PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said.
She said the partnership with Water.org will help bring clean water and sanitation to hundreds of thousands in India, and help enable a sustainable business in the future for PepsiCo.
In 2008, the PepsiCo Foundation contributed $4.1 million to Water.org resulting, to date, in more than 2,50,000 people accessing improved water and/or sanitation through initiatives funded by micro finance loans, PepsiCo said.
The PepsiCo Foundation's support for Water.org is part of the company's commitment to global water stewardship.
As part of the initiative, the firm has pledged to provide access to safe water to three million people in developing countries by the end of 2015.
It has also set a target of improving water use efficiency by 20% per unit of production by 2015 and strive for "positive water balance" in water-distressed areas.
PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation have pledged nearly $34 million to safe water and sanitation initiatives in developing countries since 2005, in partnership with organisations, including the Inter-American Development Bank's AquaFund, Safe Water Network, Save the Children, International Rescue Committee, and The Energy Resources Institute (TERI).
Water.org is a non-profit organisation engaged in providing safe water and sanitation in Africa, South Asia and Central America.